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Sasha and Dinu

“Sasha and Dinu”

(composed and performed by reynold d. philipsek 2017 copyright. Zino-Rephi Music BMI)

I have been working on my solo acoustic guitar repertoire in order to prepare a recital program. I will probably film this recital at some point in the next year to be posted on Youtube or at my site.
My recent interest in the work of the great Slavic pianist/composers like Prokofiev, Chopin, Scriabin and Rachmaninoff have inspired this  move.
“Sasha and Dinu” is a piece I first wrote a few years ago but only recently worked up this current version. The tonal center of C Sharp Minor is ever present and comes directly from the influence of Scriabin, Chopin and Rachmaninoff who all used this tonality to great effect in creating what I call a mood of “Slavic Melancholia.”
“Slavic Melancholia” could be described as a state of being in which sadness, nostalgia, longing, despair, joy and hope are mixed together into a sort of psycho-romantic goulash. You find this mood in most Slavic art to some degree and being of that general persuasion myself I feel quite at home in this modality.
My theory is that years of oppression, poverty, cold winter nights, copious droughts of vodka and a soulful poetic nature all greatly contribute to the origins of “SM.”

What Next?

After a year where we finished production on and promotion of the documentary film “A Life Well Played,” as well as releasing a new album, “Picture This,” and playing about 100 gigs during 2017 it is time to sit back and figure out what is next.

My first inclination is to prepare a solo acoustic guitar set to be done and either filmed or recorded in recital. This idea is inspired by my recent interest in the historic recordings of classic pianists of the past. My listening to classic recordings by Alfred Cortot, Dinu Lipatti, William Kapell, Alexis Weisenberg, and assorted big names like Horowitz and Rubinstein leads me to the idea of a solo acoustic guitar recital.

Whether this idea is the next brainstorm I act on remains to be seen, but I feel comforted by at least having some semblance of a direction forward.

The idea is to present my strongest compositions in a solo acoustic guitar program before an audience in a special setting. These are the pieces that I carefully chose as those that best define my musical character.  The details (the hardest part) need to be sorted out.

The list of compositions to be essayed is the easier part. This is my list as of now and already put in a logical running order.

1) Chartreuse
2) Through Rose Colored Glasses
3) Butterfly
4) Beatnik Pie
5)  Sasha and Dinu
6) Prelude
7) Bohemian Flats
8) Tango Blue
9) Mary
10) July
11) December
12) Sans Souci
13) East Side
14) Silesian Mist
15) Chrysanthemum
16) Astoria
17) Up Town
18) Tempus Fugit
19) Rara Avis
20) Rococo
21) Dark Eyes

“Picture This” is now available

I am pleased to announce that my latest album, “Picture This,” is now available exclusively in CD form, and sold here at





It includes the following tracks:

1. Bohemian Flats 2:35
2. Chrysanthemum 2:17
3. Tango Blue 3:33
4. Silesian Mist 2:47
5. Someday Maybe 3:00
6. Matka 3:07
7. Goatee and Shades 2:34
8. Rara Avis 4:02
9. Vienna Blues 2:22
10. 1965 2:49
11. Pavane 1:48


S.J. Perelman (1904-1979)

Sidney Joseph Perelman is and likely will remain my favorite writer. Aside from the fact that he makes me laugh out loud his economy impresses me. I have a sort of mania about elegance, concision and brevity. Perelman was a brilliant miniaturist.

I don’t judge art by quantity but by quality which is why some of the more long-winded Teutonic composers make my eyes glaze over.

I own almost all of Perelman’s 20 books which are largely collections of his pieces written for the New Yorker between 1930 and 1979. I can re-read any of these volumes and always find new hidden gems of unlikely locution and verbal gymnastics of the first water.

How’s that for an endorsement?

Sadly, people read less and less these days and authors with Perelman’s skill and his use of arcane but hilarious references may not appeal to today’s readers such as they are. I, for one, would hate to see this great American humorist get lost in the shuffle.

Below is a quote from his Wiki page which may provide a bit more information on him.


(Perelman wrote many brief, humorous descriptions of his travels for various magazines, and of his travails on his Pennsylvania farm, all of which were collected into books. (A few were illustrated by caricaturist Al Hirschfeld, who accompanied Perelman on the round-the-world trip recounted in Westward Ha!)Perelman is highly regarded for his humorous short pieces that he published in magazines in the 1930s and 1940s, most often in The New Yorker. For these, he is considered the first surrealist humor writer of the United States.[1] In these numerous brief sketches he pioneered a new style that was unique to him, using parody to “wring every drop of false feeling or slovenly thinking.”[2])